Seeking Spousal Maintenance or Alimony? You Need a Dallas Spousal Support Lawyer
When a Texas couple divorces, one of the first considerations is spousal support. Also called alimony or spousal maintenance, spousal support is intended to allow the ex-spouse receiving the support to provide for their reasonable financial needs. Whether they are paying or receiving the support, divorcing spouses in Texas need to understand some basics of spousal support law.
A Dallas spousal support lawyer can provide the knowledge and advice you need. Divorce attorney Michael P. Granata stands ready to advise and represent those seeking favorable spousal support arrangements in Texas.
Who Can Obtain Spousal Support in Texas?
Although either divorcing spouse may request spousal support, there is no presumption that either spouse will receive it. Instead, the spouse requesting support must meet certain legal requirements.
The most basic requirement is that the requesting spouse must need the support to meet his or her reasonable needs. These needs include such items as food, clothing, housing expenses, health care, transportation and childcare.
After demonstrating the need for spousal support, the requesting spouse must establish one of the four statutory bases for spousal support in Texas. A skilled Dallas spousal support lawyer can help you obtain the information needed at this level. Under the Texas Family Code, the statutory reasons for spousal support are as follows:
- Married 10 Years: In addition to being married at least 10 years, the requesting spouse must (1) be unable to earn sufficient income and (2) have made diligent efforts to earn income or increase their earning capacity.
- Family Violence: The act of violence must have been against the requesting spouse or their child. In addition, the divorce filing must have been within two years of the violent act. Finally, the act must have resulted in a conviction or deferred adjudication.
- Disabled Spouse: The requesting spouse must suffer from a mental or physical disability that renders them unable to earn adequate income.
- Disabled Child: The disabled child must be from the marriage. In addition, the disability must require substantial care from the requesting spouse, and the care must prevent that spouse from earning sufficient income.
If you have questions or concerns about the statute’s application to your specific situation, contact our Dallas spousal support lawyer.
How Much Spousal Support Will be Awarded?
In determining the amount of spousal maintenance to be awarded, the family law judge will consider the following factors:
- The duration of the marriage
- The division of assets and debts between the spouses
- Whether one parent will have primary custody or responsibility for the children
- The earning power of each spouse
- The health and age of the divorcing spouses
- The contributions of a spouse as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent
The family law judge must also determine the length of time for the support payments. If the support request is on the basis of a 10-year marriage, the duration is limited. This limit is the amount of time needed for the spouse to obtain employment or learn appropriate skills to meet their financial needs (a maximum of three years).
How Dallas Spousal Support Lawyer Michael P. Granata Can Help
If you are facing spousal support issues in Texas, we can help. Call Michael P. Granata at 214-977-9050 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
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